Tunisia.. “Human Rights Watch” calls for the immediate release of Buhairi

Human Rights Watch, the international human rights watchdog, said in a statement on Thursday evening that it had called on the Tunisian authorities to immediately release Noureddine El Beheiry, who is being arbitrarily detained.

The statement quoted the organization’s Middle East and North Africa director, Eric Goldstein, as saying that the arrest of al-Buhairi and (former Interior Ministry official) Fathi al-Baldi in a kidnapping-like operation shows the growing threat to human rights protections since President Kais Saied seized power in July. the past.

“The authorities should release al-Buhairi and al-Baladi immediately, or charge them under the law if they have evidence of an actual crime, the matter is as simple as that,” he added.

On Sunday, the 63-year-old Tunisian authorities transferred Al-Buhairi to a hospital in the city of Bizerte (north), after his health deteriorated as a result of his hunger strike, in refusal to detain him since last December 31.

There was no immediate comment from the Tunisian authorities on the organization’s statement, but Interior Minister Tawfiq Sharaf El-Din announced, on Monday, that Al-Buhairi and former Interior Ministry official Fathi Al-Baldi were placed under house arrest on charges of terrorism related to illegally extracting Tunisian travel and citizenship documents for a Syrian and his wife.

The Ennahda movement – the largest parliamentary bloc with 53 deputies out of 217 – and the Al-Buhairi family and his defense staff rejected the validity of this accusation, describing it as politicized, calling for his immediate release, and blaming President Said and the Minister of Interior for his life.

The Al-Buhairi case came in light of a political crisis that Tunisia has been experiencing since last July 25, when exceptional measures were imposed, including freezing the competencies of Parliament, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, dismissing the prime minister, and appointing new ones.

The majority of political and civil forces in Tunisia – including Ennahda – reject these measures, and consider them a coup against the constitution, while other forces support them and see them as a correction to the course of the 2011 revolution, which overthrew the rule of then President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (1987-2011).

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